How can something be the same and yet so different? Here we are again, locked down with no clear plan or path out of this. Just like spring except it’s raining. And we are no longer adrenalised and awe-struck by the magnitude; curious about our own resilience and clapping the NHS as showily as we can.
This time, this writer at least, has stopped growing (not physically of course, because elasticated waists are for winners) emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Like a bear in hibernation, it’s as though my very heartbeat has slowed down as we wait and wait and wait. I work more slowly and less efficiently because I think more slowly and less efficiently. I am not baking because I can’t be arsed and buying bread to gnaw in front of the telly (has anyone else been hate-watching Bridgerton?) is just easier. Not wearing clothes that need ironing is just easier. Lying down a lot is just easier. I can barely remember make-up and trowelling on would feel a bit mad. A bit ‘Who am I kidding?’
Abnormal service is sluggish but reliable. No surprises. No thrills. No highs. Nothing to see here. Probably a blessing that I can’t see anyone because what would I say? Who would I be? Would I be able to read their faces and gauge their reactions or am I developing some kind of disorder? Do I care? ‘There will be parties,’ they say. ‘It will be fun,’ they say. ‘We can get dressed up,’ they say. In what? How? Why would we?
Abnormal service is now flirting with a bedding-in of that forever feeling. The one you’re supposed to get when you fall in love except much, much, oh so much less sexy. Is this it? And how much do we even care anymore. Indifference is dangerous. And so if we are becoming indifferent to the prospect of ‘normal service’ resuming, then where on earth does that leave us?